Last week I got fired from a job where I've been working for about a year and a half. There is a head of the department and the team lead. The team lead was always giving me positive feedback regarding my performance. Feedback is something I asked him about explicitly to make sure I was on track and it was always more than positive. There is no written record of this, it was always in a meeting.

Last week I got cut off from everything suddenly and I assumed it was some computer issue but then I received a call from the department head saying that due to the very poor performance they need to let me go. I mentioned that this is the first time I hear of it, but it was quickly brushed off repeating that the team lead has told him multiple times my performance was very poor.

Why would they not inform me about my poor performance earlier? Why would my team lead repeatedly lie to me? I would expect to get at least a warning during the last year and a half, especially considering I asked for feedback explicitly.

Was there something I could have done differently to avoid this? I was completely caught off guard and am rushing to find a new job, since this was completely unexpected. I have no way to contact the team lead at all as I was cut off unexpectedly. I fail to understand how all of my contributions are now summarised to very poor performance and nothing else.

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    "Was there something I could have done differently to avoid this?" If you truly were being lied to about your performance, there is probably nothing that you could have done differently.
    – sf02
    Commented Jun 14, 2021 at 20:15
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    I would like to understand why I was not provided with genuine feedback during that year and a half, but rather cut off in one day with a very vague reason of poor performance (would not tell me what they mean by poor, simply kept repeating the same words) when I was repeatedly receiving more than positive feedback.
    – ponikoli
    Commented Jun 14, 2021 at 20:16
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    What country are you in? Where I live you cannot just fire someone, but you would have to provide evidence that you tried improving the performance of the person you let go.
    – Helena
    Commented Jun 14, 2021 at 20:22
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    You could always ask your former lead what's up. Frame it as a self growth opportunity, and let him know there's no hard feelings, you just want to know where you can improve. If he says he has no idea, then he probably didn't complain. If he gives you anything after the fact, then you can at least walk away knowing he just wasn't honest with you.
    – Carson
    Commented Jun 14, 2021 at 20:37
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    @Helena My contract from day one has been such that I can be fired in a day, but typically in such contracts some courtesy is common, such as informing the person some time in advance, but the law doesn't oblige them to.
    – ponikoli
    Commented Jun 14, 2021 at 20:41

2 Answers 2


Why would they not inform me about my poor performance earlier? Why would my team lead repeatedly lie to me?

tl;dr: They probably didn't fire you for poor performance, but for another reason that they don't want to share. Let it go.

You didn't say what country you're from, but if available, file for Unemployment ASAP--it is your right. In the States, if the company tries to fight it, they will fail because they never wrote you up.

Is this a learning opportunity?

Ask yourself--honestly--if what they said is true or not true. Was there something you didn't do that you were supposed to? Was your work not up to standard? If there's any truth to the matter, then you need to decide if you're going to improve, and do it.

If you determine it is not true, then don't pick up that emotional package. Everyone is entitled to their opinion even if it is wrong, and that one is theirs. Move on.

Decide how you're going to address this in interviews

They are going to ask you why you left your last position. Don't lie, but you don't need to say "because I was a poor performer." Look elsewhere on this site for good suggestions.

Remember--it is business

Don't take it personally, it is business. Those people weren't your friends, and the only reason why you were there is because you got paid.

It is 100% unfair that companies want two weeks' notice from their employees, but there's no reciprocity. That is the hand we are all dealt, so roll with it.


Legal reasons, maybe?

If you fire somebody for a very specific reason, they can take it to court. Normally, companies avoid going to not lose money. Firing somebody because of "poor performance" seems vague and possibly difficult to sue over as far as I can tell.

  • This makes sense. But I am located in Europe and under my contract since day one they can fire me in one day without any explanation. I would assume in that case they would say something like company is reorganising, but he specifically said poor performance not wanting to give me actual example of this.
    – ponikoli
    Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 8:20

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